Picture Perfect Days


I love this time of year in Maine. No sadness for me over the passing of summer. I am ready for the cool wood-smokey air, the thick golden afternoon sunlight, and the magical color explosion that is fall in New England.


The color in the perennial garden pales next to the maples.

When we lived in Alaska, I always became depressed in the fall. The season there was so brief–a week or so of glorious yellow aspens, soon stripped by strong winds.


It was a jarring transition from the wonder of an Alaskan summer to a very long stretch of winter darkness and cold.


Fall in Maine, on the other hand, gradually unfolds in a lovely progression of harvest and colors so exquisite they almost hurt.


And the colors change day by day, as one tree fades, others peak, making every walk and drive a changing palette of brilliance.


Photographs do not adequately convey the way the sun illuminates the trees, transforming them into glowing, blazing living sculptures.


The colors this year are the most vivid I have ever seen.



Out kayaking when the leaves were just starting to turn, the reflections were so clear that they created kaleidoscope-like patterns.



Reflection of a log turned on its side.

The water was very low and I had to carefully work my way over the shallows from lake to river–just an inch to spare.



This sand bar was a foot underwater in the spring.

But I was rewarded by basking turtles and a heron unfazed as I slowly drifting nearby.


No frost yet, so I am slowly–very slowly–putting the vegetable gardens to bed.


The sunflowers continue to feed the birds and one acrobatic red squirrel.



George has been working hard putting in our back fence.


And Capp is enjoying our picture perfect days.



The door is open and I’m not sneaking outside. Good boy.


44 thoughts on “Picture Perfect Days

  1. glorious glorious photos…and I am just amazed at Maine…I previously thought (before you moved there and began sharing all your gardening photos) that it was way too cold there for the kinds of flowers and crops you have raised. And Capp is absolutely adorable.

    • Arlene, you must come visit some day. Maybe you could combine it with a Pennsylvania trip? Maine is too cold for some crops, but a huge variety of things grow beautifully here. Oddly enough, we are farther south than Portland, Oregon and on the same latitude as Tuscany. We are colder, of course, but have a decent day length and lots of sunshine. I will tell Capp that he has an admirer in California.

      • I would love to come visit sometime, though I think flying across would be easier than bringing our RV. Only Bill drives it, so far. And Capp definitely has an admirer. If I were to think about another animal right now (first time we have been without any for decades) I would be VERY tempted to get a golden lab as he is even cuter than my granddoggie, Satch. (don’t let Muir hear that!)

      • Flying may be the way to go. In any case, you are always welcome here. We cannot be long without a dog. And we love yellow labs. Gorgeous, smart, and very people-attuned. But as pups they are highly active and mouthy. Like having a toddler. The name Satch was in play for Capp. It’s George’s nickname and we think a great name for a dog!

  2. What a post and what pictures! Yes, fall in Maine is a glorious time. No two ways about it. And that puppy! Such a darling face!

    • It’s fascinating how a particular combination of day length, temperature, and species has produced such a glorious fall spectacle in this one little corner of the earth. And it never ceases to amaze me.

  3. Great photos. I am already a huge Cap fan. For each leaf with vivid color at your house, leaves here are turning brown almost before they can change color. One of my blog readers told me why … it’s too warm in the Midwest. I had to ask when I saw the new fence, how many times has Cap tried crawling under the lowest bar?

    • Thanks Steve. It looks like you are getting some fall color there. But New England wins the jackpot on fall color. As for the fence, you bet that Capp crawls right under. We will be putting up a wire mesh on the split-rail to keep the dog(s) in and the other critters out (well, it may slow them down). By the way, I have given up trying to leave comments on your blog because it just doesn’t take them. I guess it’s a blogspot/wordpress issue.

      • Sorry to hear about your problems when trying to leave comments. I have other wordpress bloggers tell me the same thing. I’ve looked for a solution but have never found one. Blogger’s help section is useless. Google is my only source to find a solution.

    • Thank you Sam. It’s hard to mourn the end of summer here, with such a magnificence of fall color. This year is especially wondrous. And yes, Capp is a keeper.

  4. Beautiful autumn colours. All those golds, coppers and reds are a stunning sight on a sunny day. I love the turtles and of course Capp enjoying this new season is adorable.

    • I wish that I could adequately convey the way the sun illuminates the colors. It is mesmerizing. Capp is unmoved by the color, but fascinated by the leaves as they fall. His new favorite game is capture the leaf.

  5. Fabulous pictures!!! I know what’s coming down here in Virginia when the trees turn–they’re still green, by and large, with a few exceptions. Your Capp is very sweet, and that last photo is amazing. Enjoy the days!

    • Oh yes, we are well ahead of you on fall color. Although it has felt a bit like Virginia here lately, it’s been so warm. Topsy-turvy times. Enjoy your fall, I know it’s a sweet time down there. But our apples are better!

      • Ha! We could go toe to toe on apples! But it’s been awfully warm here, too, and I had already switched out my closets. It’s supposed to change by Friday and drop from the 80’s into the 60’s. We’ll see.

  6. If I was a photography instructor, I’d give you A++ for these photos. You will have half the country wanting to move to Maine because you captured this beautiful fall season in all its glory. Mother Nature is probably impressed with your photography skills. And, what can I say about Capp? I want to give him a good hug and look into those beautiful eyes. Your life has righted itself, and that is always a good thing. šŸ™‚

    • Half the country should want to move to Maine. But, fortunately its charms are relatively undiscovered. As for my photography, with such subjects, all I had to do was keep pointing and shooting and something was going to come out right. I wish that I could capture the really exquisite quality of the colors. But, there isn’t any way to convey the feel of the air, the density of the light, and the action of the wind. Best to experience it. And Capp has certainly helped heal our Zoe loss. He is remarkably like her, actually, but with his own sweet, intelligent, special presence. Oh, I love dogs.

    • Thanks Kerri. I hope that you will get back here before too long. Fall is perhaps the loveliest time to visit–although you’d have to miss your spring. My herbs did really well this year and I’m looking forward to doing more with them next year.

    • There is nothing quite like New England in the fall and the colors this year are breathtaking. Maybe it’s because I’ve been away from New England for so long, but I’ve been in a sort of leaf-induced stupor–it’s so gorgeous. So, miss it a bit, but enjoy all the misty, ocean-laden, glorious stuff that fall brings to your island.
      As your folks said, we have been having a lingering almost-summer, confusing to plants, birds and bees, but lovely nonetheless. I’m still harvesting tomatillos and my bees are seriously befuddled. Crazy.

  7. It does look stunning. Fall in New England has been on my list for years. One day soon I will make it. In Old England too the colours are good this year. It’s been a slow, warm Autumn and nothing seems in a hurry to get to winter!

    • It sounds as if Old England and New England are experiencing similar Autumns. It almost felt like August here today–except for the quality of light. I could get used to this slow, warm lollygagging into winter.

  8. I love it! That right there, that post, was like an antidote to the last seven depressing news stories I’ve heard. Yemen might be screwed, but goodness, peace, beauty, and puppies still exist, so there’s hope!

  9. What a great post…gorgeous photos and lovely words to match. We must get to Maine….one day! I think the more you live in place, the more acutely you become aware of the seasons, I know I feel like that about the place I live. Capps looks a sweet natured puppy.

    • I love living in a place that has four distinct seasons and “weather.” Capp is a sweetheart. He’s an interesting combination of fearlessness and happy ease. Enjoy your spring!

  10. Fabulous photos, as always! I especially love the rising super-moon. What’s my favorite season in Maine? Usually, whichever one we’re in! Except for November, which is often wet and dreary (although even that will be welcome this year), each season is filled with its own special quality of light.

    • Thanks so much Jean. Maine has a nice balance of seasons. Each lasts just long enough to make me ready for the next one. And they are all so different. I agree about November’s dreary tendencies. But I love Thanksgiving and have a November birthday, so I have a soft spot for November, despite its gray and somber demeanor. Plus, the older I get, the more time whizzes by, so I just want to savor what I can before it passes.

    • Unspammed at last. Thanks for the kind words. I saw five turtles that day and all acted as if they were posing. Usually they plonk in the water as soon as get anywhere near, but these seemed to want to soak up those late fall rays before winter. And yes, New England has some special mix of weather, soil, and day length that makes the fall colors really sing.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. The turtles were absolutely beautiful that day. One set of logs had five of them happily basking, but I couldn’t get an angle that wasn’t looking into the sun. Capp is growing like mad and is in the chew everything phase right now. He’s a little sweetie, chewing and all.

  11. I have always longed to visit New England in the fall. You images just show that it is even more amazing than I imagine. It must be such a contrast to Alaska. It is also wonderful to see your wildlife pictures too. Capp is enjoying his first Autumn too. Sarah x

    • The colors this fall were particularly vivid, but it’s always a magical season here. Alaska has been having warmer winters recently with mild falls and less abrupt descents into winter. Even so, it’s a long, dark winter there. Capp’s pure pleasure in every new thing is a wonder to watch. We’re looking forward to seeing his reaction to the first snow.

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